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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks,

Looking for advice for my negotiation and thank in advance for your inputs.

My department is shutting down the business in Singapore and I was offered to move to one of the 3 locations: (Raleigh, NYC with L1 visa - London as a consultant). I'll start my family life by end of the year and plan to have a baby next year so many things come into consideration for the relocation.

- My baby will have American as second nationality which will benefit him/her quite a lot in the future for studying in US (i mean cheaper :) ).
- In London & NYC, my wife will have better chance to look for a job as an economic graduate (master from Toulouse school of Economics).
- Cost of livings in Raleigh is much cheaper than other city.

I don't think my offer is generous to have an easy life in NYC.

- $95k for base salary in Raleigh ( i asked for this number) + bonus (~15-30k) + benefit
- GBP 100k gross salary in London ( city i love to live) without benefit as contractor
- NYC is not finalized on the package.
- I will be having 401k contribution from the company.

I'd love to know what will be usual expenditures for a small family

- Income tax (federal + state): Raleigh ~34%, NYC ???, London (~38%)
- Social security in US (???)
- Rental for 2 bed apartment: Raleigh ~ USD 1k; NYC ~USD 2k; London ???
- Car insurance (???), i plan to get license within 1st month of arrival. Having no experience of car driving
- Child care (???)

etc...
 

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If I were you, I would go for New York (maybe it's my patriotism speaking but still). This country is still a pool of opportunities though you're definitely right when you weigh up all pros and cons before making the final decision. Everything should be taken into consideration. Good luck to you in your new life
 

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I think your rental expenses are too low for New York City. Though keep in mind you might be able to avoid car expenses living there.

You're describing top marginal income tax rates, not effective rates (which are lower). In North Carolina you would probably be in the 32.75% tax bracket (combined state and federal, married filing jointly), but that rate would only apply on the last portion of your income above $85,000 (gross) or so.

Yes, in the U.S. you would pay into U.S. Social Security. This is probably good because the rates are pretty low compared to European norms. Your employer pays half, and salary figures are always quoted after the employer's contribution (i.e. net of payroll tax). The payroll tax rate you will pay is 7.65%, but the rate drops to 1.45% for your income from work above about $115,000. If you can accumulate at least 10 years of contributions then you will qualify for U.S. Social Security retirement benefits which are very nice, and in many/most cases there's a nice boost if you're married, and your spouse can often continue to receive benefits if you should predecease her.

The 401(k) contribution is nice. If your employer offers a so-called Roth 401(k) option then I would probably choose that and I would contribute as much as you can up to the annual maximum. Any gains, dividends, interest, etc. in your Roth 401(k) account are U.S. tax free (and also generally free of tax if you live in a country with which the U.S. has a tax treaty), provided you do not withdraw funds until your reach retirement age. You may be subject to 30% withholding if you are not a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, but you can file an IRS form to get all that withholding back if you are only withdrawing funds in your retirement (and thus following the rules for that type of account). Assuming your employer offers low cost high quality investments, e.g. simple Vanguard mutual funds, that's a very attractive way to save for retirement.

You can also open a "529" account for your child to save for a U.S. university education if you wish. Some 529 accounts even offer a prepaid tuition option. Shop very carefully, though -- there are major differences in fees and expenses for those accounts. North Carolina's 529 program is free of North Carolina income tax (assuming you follow the rules), so that might be a good option if you live there. New York's 529 might offer the same benefit to New York residents.
 

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I think you have done your homework re. costs, etc. However, you should look at the culture between the two areas. . . . Raleigh is quite different than NYC. Given you want to have a baby I would look to save as much as possible now.

There might be good options for employment in Raleigh that may not be realized...Universities, etc. However, it is NYC and one of a kind. An amazing city - however some say it's a great place to visit but . . . .
 

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I have friends in the Raleigh/Durham area, and based on their stories, I think I would like it there too.
Lot's of cultural things going on, nice weather, beautiful nature and lots of nice places to visit during long weekends. Not too expensive. And I think it's an area that is still developing (so more interesting things to come in the future).
The Research Triangle, a couple of universities, museums make it all attractive too. And of course the not too expensive detached houses with a garden.
 

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Hello folks,

Looking for advice for my negotiation and thank in advance for your inputs.

My department is shutting down the business in Singapore and I was offered to move to one of the 3 locations: (Raleigh, NYC with L1 visa - London as a consultant). I'll start my family life by end of the year and plan to have a baby next year so many things come into consideration for the relocation.

- My baby will have American as second nationality which will benefit him/her quite a lot in the future for studying in US (i mean cheaper :) ).
- In London & NYC, my wife will have better chance to look for a job as an economic graduate (master from Toulouse school of Economics).
- Cost of livings in Raleigh is much cheaper than other city.

I don't think my offer is generous to have an easy life in NYC.

- $95k for base salary in Raleigh ( i asked for this number) + bonus (~15-30k) + benefit
- GBP 100k gross salary in London ( city i love to live) without benefit as contractor
- NYC is not finalized on the package.
- I will be having 401k contribution from the company.

I'd love to know what will be usual expenditures for a small family

- Income tax (federal + state): Raleigh ~34%, NYC ???, London (~38%)
- Social security in US (???)
- Rental for 2 bed apartment: Raleigh ~ USD 1k; NYC ~USD 2k; London ???
- Car insurance (???), i plan to get license within 1st month of arrival. Having no experience of car driving
- Child care (???)

etc...
I grew up about 45 minutes from Raleigh and I lived in NYC for 4.5 years. I would move back to Raleigh in a second. Let me know if you have any other questions about either area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks EVHB, BBCWatcher, Fairfax & jameshaffer.

Financial wise i think London will give me better disposable income given that GBP has better weight. However, main trade off will be the American citizenship for my future baby (not even sure why we need this). I am not planning to get the green card nor staying long-term (>5 years) in US so it's quite sad when think about the social security tax :(.

Raleigh is not a business center which doesn't favor my career so next few year i will be moving to London depending on the career growth :).

I'm still too young (3.5 years of working exp) to think about settle down in 1 place :). But yes, Raleigh will be huge advantage for me if i intend to invest into real estate or in other words, the only place which is affordable :)
 

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U.S. citizenship for a child would be a rather significant net plus. I think that consideration alone might exclude London (at this time) for you.

Note that the U.S. has social security treaties with several countries. If, for example, you work in the U.S. for 3 years and in the U.K. for 8 you would have 11 years of contributions total. You could then apply for U.S. Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62 and as late as age 70. (The longer you wait the larger your monthly benefit.) U.S. Social Security will count your total time inclusive of U.K. contributions (assuming you tell them!) since the U.S. has a social security treaty with the U.K. That won't be quite as good as 11 years all in the U.S., but as long as you get 10+ years total across any treaty countries (including the U.S.) you (and your spouse) can enjoy some retirement benefits from the U.S. system. The situation also works in reverse, so in that example you could check with the U.K. and decide which is the better option. Sometimes both options are available depending on the circumstances.

I'm not sure what you mean by GBP having better weight. You haven't shared income figures for all three options, so it's very difficult to estimate how much you can save. The U.S. dollar is fairly strong right now, although exchange rates can and do vary.

All three are fine places to live, but they're also different. It depends what you like. It's generally not practical to live without a car in Raleigh, so that'd be one fairly significant difference among the three (with associated pros and cons).
 

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To bottom line this, can you start in the U.S. to get U.S. citizenship for your child, then (if and only if you want to move) transfer to London?

Do you have any salary figures yet for New York?

Financially I think your employer has offered you two fairly similar scenarios for Raleigh and London. London is a much more expensive place to live than Raleigh, and that U.S. 401(k) benefit is not to be overlooked. (You have to look past the "headline" numbers.)

I'd be leaning toward the U.S. just because of that enticing citizenship (which a child can surrender as an adult if he/she feels differently), but obviously I'd want to see the New York offer.
 

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I do love London as a tourist, and I spent quite some time there. But I wouldn't want to live there unless my boss would cover all my living expenses. Certainly as a 'visible minority' I would think twice! I have some (white!) Belgian friends living in London, and even they say that they notice a difference over the past couple of years, since the economy started going south. They say that even they sometimes get nasty remarks now because the unemployment rate is high and they regard even a white European as someone who's taking their job...
 
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